I finally got around to seeing Clint Eastwood’s film, The Outlaw Josey Wales the other evening, and wasn’t terribly impressed. Partly, I think, I didn’t much like it because it was so heavily indebted to another film I don’t much like, John Ford’s The Searchers, as it piles on reference after reference and parallel after parallel, saving the most blatant for last, when the distinctive shapes of Monument Valley make an appearance in the background of one of the final shots. But I was interested enough to see if the internetweb had much to say about this kind of thing, and dug up this (solid but ungripping) 2003 essay on the subject by Robert C. Sickels, which kicks off with the remarkable claim that “what virtually every critic has failed to recognize is its [= TOJW‘s] undeniable relationship to John Ford’s The Searchers…” That can’t be true, can it? Film writers surely haven’t been that blinkered? Or is Sickels just exaggerating a bit to get his own essay off the ground? I know there are (i) film buffs and (ii) Western enthusiasts who read this page, so any information posted in the Comments will be cheerily digested.